This is the second part
in my series regarding calculating
ROI. If you remember the first part of the series (CLICK HERE
), I discussed an
in-depth analysis of three years’ worth of races to see if I was actually
making money and in which categories. In that analysis I learned that only 9%
of my impulse bets turned a profit, that impulse (non-handicapped) bets cost me
a lot of money over the years, and that I suck at straight wagers and perform
much better with exotics. That analysis also provided a look at how I performed
at certain tracks and with certain types of bets at certain tracks.
Well as my wife would say - I never do anything half-assed,
so I decided to take a deeper dive
with the stats. I poured through chart after
chart, hour after hour, to see how my wagers performed in many other categories
such as surface, distance, class, expanded race conditions, and even some goofy
categories as well.
Here we go with round 2.
Now remember, in explaining the charts a little, there are
three columns for each slice of data. BETS WON represent just that. The
percentage of those kinds of wagers that actually won. BETS w/ PROFIT are bets
that actually turned a profit. For example, if I wagered $5 on an exacta and it
only paid $4.20, then that would represent a bet won, yet it was not
profitable. The return on investment (ROI) is represented as a percentage.
-100% would be a total loss, 0% would be break-even, and +100% would be
doubling my money.
Also in this analysis I did NOT include my impulse wagers,
tips, or going after bridgejumpers. These are only handicapped wagers (which
will obviously make my numbers look better!) I did also include the horizontals
with every analysis so that all wagers are reflected. Horizontal wagers span
many different classes, surfaces, and distances. I haven’t found a good way to
break those up and represent ROI by the different categories.
First I wanted to see how my ROI stacked up against the
different race conditions possible.
No surprise to me here. I have always struggled with maidens
and claimers and the numbers don’t lie
. The ROI on stakes-quality
at a positive 65%. For the maidens, it just doesn’t matter if they
are maiden-allowance or maiden-claimers, the negative ROI leads me to believe
that I should just stay away from those races entirely. In three-plus years I
still haven’t been able to figure them out I guess.
Now out of curiosity
, I wanted to know how I performed within
the conditions of claimers, allowance, and allowance optional claiming. Here for allowance conditions...
For reasons I cannot explain, I do well with the N1X and N3X
conditions, but NOT with the N2X conditions at the allowance level. I’ll need
some help interpreting that.
And as far as claiming conditions…
Well other than some real goofy conditions, or combined
conditions (C), my ROI is still bad regardless of condition. So then, does the
claiming price matter then?
Again no surprise that when the claiming price, for both
claiming and allowance optional claiming, is higher, my ROI is better. Oddly
enough, I broke even with the cheap $5,000 claimers. I would think then that
the higher the purse of the race, the better my ROI would be, right?
As I suspected, the “richer” the race, the better my ROI is.
Should I just stay away from the cheaper races all together? Or perhaps lump
them in with the horizontal wagers?
Next, I really wanted to see how I fared on different
surfaces. Initially my guess was that I was good with dirt
, mediocre on turf,
and awful on polytrack. Well, my turf numbers were disappointing.
As I suspected, I do well on dirt, and I think I always
have. I also suspected that I didn’t fare well on Polytrack, and the numbers
confirmed that as well. However on grass, I have a disappointing -14% ROI. Man,
I always thought I was better than that. Then again, I'm RIGHT on turf 24% of the time, but is the object of the game to be right or to make money? Anyway, I wondered how my ROI changed
based on surface conditions.
Apparently I like off-tracks. On the dirt seems like the
wetter the better. On grass, I seem to prefer a wetter course as well. My ROI
on fast dirt is just below break-even but I have work to do on firm turf.
So we’ve looked at class and surface now. What about
I found this to be very interesting. The numbers show that I
am much better at routes than I am at sprints. I would love to know WHY
is, but still interesting
to look at. So of course in dark horse fashion, I
broke the distances down to the specific distance which the races were run.
Give me the classic 10 furlong distance! I am almost
break-even at 6 ½ furlongs and one mile. I don’t see much correlation there
however. So then the next logical step
is to look at the surfaces and distances together. The results are pretty much
what you would expect.
Routes on dirt is where it’s at for me, and I’m not that
much under water with sprints on Polytrack. With all of this, I then wanted to
look at how I fared with specific surfaces at specific tracks. I was thinking
that maybe I’m good with turf at certain tracks or good with Polytrack at
others. Here’s that slice.
So hey! I do have a positive ROI on some turf courses after
all! Looks like the grass at Hollywood (darn), Fair Grounds, Keeneland, and
Meydan are pretty decent places for me to make some money. I’m also not as bad, in
total, at Arlington as I originally thought I was either.
Wow, that was a lot of great data! Now you wouldn’t expect
me to stop there would you? I also performed some analysis with some sillier
categories as well. Nothing much to take away from these analyses, but still
fun to look at.
I wanted to see if I had a positive ROI with any specific
So all that time in and around Chicago definitely gave me an
advantage with the Illinois-bred horses. And wow! Look at those Florida and New
Jersey-bred races! Abysmal is the word I would use to describe state-bred races
at Woodbine and Fair Grounds. Yikes. Anyway, I will have to ask HRN's very own Matt Shifman
about those NJ-bred races!
And here’s another weird slice of data. What’s my ROI based
on day of the week? (I mean really, who would actually look at that data or even have
the desire to calculate it?)
Well I should definitely be playing the races on Fridays and
Saturdays! And as far as Mondays
and Wednesdays? Sheesh, I won’t quit my day
How about a look of ROI by numbers of starters in a race? Like that would mean anything?
I guess I like races with many options! Or not so much with
the 20% ROI in races with just five starters. And with just five starters, you
would think that ROI would be better, right? As a lifetime horseplayer I should
be able to pick a winner with only five options, right?
And here’s another odd look at ROI based on race number…
Haha! I should just bet the first race of the day (on a
Friday) and leave the rest alone! Actually for the first four races of any card
I seem to do pretty well. Then what, do I just get bored of handicapping races?
Anyway, with all of this, it does appear that my handicapping
has improved over time. 2013 has been a great year so far and I hope that it
continues through to the Breeders’ Cup!
What did you think of this analysis? Have you ever looked at
your wagers in this manner?
Remember, this is part II of the series. Click HERE
for Part I.
I do pose this question to all of you however...is the object of the game to be right, or to win money? Discuss...